Mailbox Monday

December host: Suko’s Notebook

Where'd You Go, BernadetteSynopsis: Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she’s a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she’s a disgrace; to design mavens, she’s a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom. 
Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette’s intensifying allergy to Seattle–and people in general–has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands. A trip to the end of the earth is problematic. 
To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, secret correspondence–creating a compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter’s role in an absurd world.  Purchased with a Christmas gift card from my godson 🙂

little black dressSynopsis: Two sisters whose lives seemed forever intertwined are torn apart when a magical little black dress gives each one a glimpse of an unavoidable future.

Antonia Ashton has worked hard to build a thriving career and a committed relationship, but she realizes her life has gone off-track. Forced to return home to Blue Hills when her mother, Evie, suffers a massive stroke, Toni finds the old Victorian where she grew up as crammed full of secrets as it is with clutter. Now she must put her mother’s house in order—and uncover long-buried truths about Evie and her aunt, Anna, who vanished fifty years earlier on the eve of her wedding. By shedding light on the past, Toni illuminates her own mistakes and learns the most unexpected things about love, magic, and a little black dress with the power to break hearts…and mend them. I bought it.

What was in your mailbox?

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Sunday Post

IMG_1298We had a wonderful Christmas celebration last week. My sister and her family hosted the annual family party on Christmas. I went to a Christmas concert with another sister where we heard beautiful music performed by a choir that included a dear friend. Christmas Eve was spent with my husband’s family. It was nice to see so many relatives and friends.

Granddaughter Grace gave us the adorable ornament in the picture.

Blog news:

Jodi Thomas stopped by to tell us about her newest book in the Harmony series.

Review of Vanity Fare: A Novel of Lattes, Literature, and Love by Megan Caldwell.

Happy New Year!

Guest Post by Jodi Thomas

Today I’m happy to welcome author Jodi Thomas to tell us about her newest book in the Harmony series. This is one of my favorite series so I can’t wait to read CHANCE OF A LIFETIME.

chance of a lifetimeWelcome to my town, Harmony, Texas.  I thought readers might like to start the new year with a book set in a small town called CHANCE OF A LIFETIME.  Once in a while everything comes together in a story that makes it fun to write. I think you’ll love the visit where secrets whisper of old love affairs and kindness to others warms your heart.

I wanted to write a deep love story about two people who had been friends in childhood and lost each other one night because of an attack.  She was hurt and he felt guilty for not being there to help.  When Emily Tomlinson sees Tannon Parker ten years later, they don’t know how to mend the fences to find one another again.  I wanted to write a very tender love story about an attraction far deeper than physical, a love that went all the way to their hearts.

Writing the story of Harmony in CHANCE OF A LIFETIME has been a pure joy for me.  I grew up in a small town and understand how the people’s life stories blend together and how everyone bands together when trouble comes.  So come along with me this cold night on an adventure that will make you smile and keep you reading long into the night.

Jodi Thomas

Jodi Thomas is the NY Times and USA Today bestselling author of 35 novels and 11 short story collections. A RITA winning author,1028_jodibio Jodi currently serves as the Writer in Residence at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas.

www.jodithomas.com

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Release Date: December 31, 2012

Pre-order:

Amazon  Barnes and Noble  IndieBound

Vanity Fare: A Novel of Lattes, Literature, and Love by Megan Caldwell

Vanity Fare

Synopsis: Molly Hagan is overwhelmed. Her husband left her for a younger, blonder woman, her six year-old son is questioning her authority, and now, so is she. In order to pay her Brooklyn rent and keep her son supplied with Pokemon and Legos – not to mention food and clothing – she has to get a job. Fast.

So when an old friend offers Molly a copywriting position at a new bakery, finding romance is just about the last thing on her mind. But the sexy British pastry chef who’s heading up the bakery has other thoughts. And so does Molly when she meets the chef’s intimidating business partner – who also happens to have a secret that might prevent Molly from getting her own Happily Ever After.

My brief take: I was thoroughly entertained by Megan Caldwell’s modern day take on a historical romance. It was filled with a few possible heroes and a heroine who is coping with the end of her marriage and the need to make a new life for herself and her young son.

Molly, our heroine, has serious self-esteem issues to work through – which she does with the help of her therapist. That’s a good thing because Molly soon finds herself dealing with two rather intimidating ‘heroes’ as well as her newly penniless mother. Oh my!

Caldwell kept me turning the pages and I finished Vanity Fare in a few hours. I really liked it and will be watching for her next book. Recommended.

PS There are recipes 🙂

Title: Vanity Fare: A Novel of Lattes, Literature, and Love

Author: Megan Caldwell

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Published: December 2012 – Wm. Morrow  Paperback: 416 pages

Source: I received an arc from the publisher via the Library Thing Early Reviewers program. I was not compensated for my review.

Mailbox Monday

December host:

Suko’s Notebook

From Nottin Hill...Synopsis: Scarlett O’Brien is in love . . . with the movies. Utterly hooked on Hugh Grant, crazy about Richard Curtis, dying with lust for Johnny Depp, Scarlett spends her days with her head in the clouds and her nights with her hand in a huge tub of popcorn. Which is not exactly what her sensible, DIY-obsessed fiancé David has in mind for their future. So when Scarlett has the chance to house-sit an impossibly grand mansion in Notting Hill – the setting of one of her all-time favourite movies – she jumps at the chance to live out her film fantasies one last time. It’s just a shame that her new neighbour Sean is so irritating and so irritatingly handsome, too. As a chaotic comedy of her very own erupts around Scarlett, she begins to realise there’s more to life than seating plans and putting up shelves. What sort of happy ending does she really want? Will it be a case of Runaway Bride or Happily Ever After? The big white wedding looms, and Scarlett is running out of time to decide. This was a Kindle freebie.

a wallflower christmas (audio)Synopsis: It’s Christmastime in London and Rafe Bowman has arrived from America for his arranged meeting with Natalie Blandford, the very proper and beautiful daughter of Lady and Lord Blandford. His chiseled good looks and imposing physique are sure to impress the lady-in-waiting, and if it weren’t for his shocking American ways and wild reputation, her hand would already be guaranteed. Before the courtship can begin, Rafe realizes he must learn the rules of London society. But when four former Wallfowers try their hand at matchmaking, no one knows what will happen. And winning a bride turns out to be more complicated than Rafe Bowman anticipated, especially for a man accustomed to getting anything he wants. However, Christmas works in the most unexpected ways, changing a cynic to a romantic and inspiring passion in the most timid of hearts. (audiobook)

belong to meFrom the synopsis: Marisa de los Santos’s literary talents shine in the complex interactions she creates between these three women. She deftly explores the life-altering roller coaster of emotions Piper faces as she cares for two households, her own and that of her cancer-stricken best friend, Elizabeth. Skillfully, de los Santos creates an enigmatic and beguiling character in Lake, who draws Cornelia closer even as she harbors a shocking secret. And from the first page until the exhilarating conclusion, de los Santos engages readers with Cornelia, who, while trying to adapt to her new surroundings, must remain true to herself. As their individual stories unfold, the women become entangled in a web of trust, betrayal, love, and loss that challenges them in ways they never imagined, and that ultimately teaches them what it means for one human being to belong to another. I own a print copy but when the eBook was on sale last week I picked it up. Lately it’s so much easier to read if I can enlarge the print just a bit 😉

What was in your mailbox?

Sunday Post

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Blog news:

Only one review last week: Sunrise on Cedar Key by Terri DuLong.

The folks at Blue Dot Literary wrote to say that Allen Wyler’s Dead End Deal, (along with Wyler’s other books Dead Ringer and Dead Wrong) have just been put on a special Holiday Season Sale for just $1.99. The promo will be going on until January 7th. You can purchase them at the following links (I’m not an affiliate of either): Kindle   Nook

Merry Christmas!

 

Sunrise on Cedar Key by Terri DuLong

Cedar Key #3

Synopsis:  (Publisher) For the second time in ten years, Grace Stone is starting over on Cedar Key. Grace first moved to the serene island to escape a disastrous relationship. Now a visit with her Aunt Maude is interrupted by unwelcome news: Grace’s apartment and coffee shop have been destroyed by fire.

Grace is devastated, yet ever-practical Maude has a plan. While she helps Grace resettle, Maude even has a business venture in mind—weekend knitting retreats where women can craft, chat, and support one another.

But other surprises await, including the return of Grace’s estranged sister, and a tentative romance with the local bookstore owner. Knitting together her past and future will mean untangling the painful threads Grace left behind. But the result could be a vibrant new life—and the courage to live it fully. . .

My take:  Oh how I love my visits to Cedar Key, Florida. Terri DuLong has made this actual location her fictional paradise and populated it with people I’d like to call friends and neighbors.

Sunrise at Cedar Key is the perfect title. The theme of new beginnings and fresh starts is felt throughout the novel. Grace is starting over in a new home, a new business and, quite possibly, a new love. Chloe, Grace’s sister, arrives in Cedar Key looking for a place to regroup after her marriage falls apart. She and Grace have been estranged for years (Chloe’s choice) so there are amends to be made if they are to be a family. Suellen, Grace’s life-long friend, comes to Cedar Key for a new job after losing her old one when her boss passed away. So everyone is on the start of a new direction.

I enjoyed everything about this novel: Terri DuLong’s characters, the plot, and especially how everything wrapped up at the end. I’m glad I have the next in the series on the shelf because I can’t wait to get back to Cedar Key!

Title:  Sunrise on Cedar Key – #3 Cedar Key series

Author:  Terri DuLong

Genre:  Fiction

Published:  November 2011 – Kensington

Source:  Many thanks to my friend Kaye for passing her copy on to me!